Waxahachie Police officers will look to build friendships and connect with members of the community through their annual Cops and Kids Picnic event.

The free event takes place from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. April 14 in Getzendaner Park located in the 400 block of S. Grand Avenue. It will feature free food, giveaways, and games. People who are interested in lending a hand can contact the police department to find out how they can assist.

Waxahachie Police Community Service Officer O.T. Glidewell stated last year’s event was a great success, which allowed officers to connect with the community in a relaxed setting. He hopes to build on that foundation to make the event even more successful.

“This year we are going to expand on it a little bit more on the activities for the kids,” Glidewell said. “We have got the bounce houses back, which was a big success last year. We also have 878 Airsoft who is going to come back and set up a target range for the kids to play on.”

Glidewell continued stating there is going to be a 20 animal petting zoo that children and their families can go through and a five-pony carousel they can ride. The YMCA will have an area set up where they will be doing a variety of activities with the children. Sims library will have a reading station set up as well. A disc jockey will provide music along with games set to music.

Free food will be available that includes hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones.

The department is looking to give away about 75 bicycles at the event. The bikes are provided through donations from sponsors. Last year officers were able to give away 60 bikes. There is no cost to enter the raffle for the bicycles that will be given out.

“What we do is we get donations from local businesses, and we take that money, and we go and purchase the bicycles,” Glidewell explained. “As the kids arrive each gets a raffle ticket and they can put it in the bucket of their choice for their size of bicycle they want. We are going to be giving the bikes away throughout the three-hour event.”

Glidewell noted putting on an event like this is very rewarding because of the positive impact it has on the community. He shared seeing how appreciative the children are by the smile on their faces which makes it all worth it.

If people are interested in becoming a sponsor, a vendor, or a volunteer at the event they can contact Glidewell at the police department 469-309-4436 or by email at ogidewell@waxahachiepd.org. The Waxahachie Police Department is located at 216 N. College St. in downtown Waxahachie.